Panchmel Dal or Panchkuti Dal is a traditional Rajasthani recipe that uses a mix of five lentils – prepared with a simple tempering of cumin, cloves and cinnamon and a few spice powders. It is often served as a part of dal-baati-choorma, which is a hallmark dish from Rajasthan – along with baati which is a flaky crisp round bread and choorma – a sweetened version of the same breads. You can have this dal with plain rice or rotis too!
Panch Phoron – a Bengali five spice mix.
The Kolkata twist to this dal recipe is a generous flavouring using the traditional panch phoron – a mix of five spices, used in Bengali cooking. The panch phoron consists of black mustard seeds (rai), cumin seeds (jeera), fennel seeds (saunf), nigella seeds (kalonji) and fenugreek seeds (methi). In some recipes, radhuni (celery seeds) are used instead of mustard seeds. I’ve added it both in the sauteeing of masalas and in the final tadka. To give it a more Bengali flavour, you can use mustard oil for the tempering. Traditionally, liberal doses of ghee is used in the making of this Rajasthani Dal.
Recipe for Panchmel Dal with PanchPhoron Tadka
Prep time: 1 hour including soaking time
Cooking time: Under 30 minutes